Life Is What You Make It

Last modified on August 7th, 2008

You know, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately. I really have no idea where I’m going to end up career wise, but one of the things I’ve thought about in the last few years is becoming a real-estate agent. Sure, it’s not something I’d probably enjoy, but I think I could handle the truck loads of money. It’s not something I’ll probably ever do (as I have my own plans), but there’s something to be said for a job outside of the technology sector where you can set your own hours and fill your bank account up with rich people’s cash.

I mean, let’s be honest – how hard is it really to sell a house in this city? It seems like there are million dollar homes going left and right, and I’m stuck on the sideline renting like a sucker. I mean, you take some clients to a house, give them the goods, and then you get a boat load of cash. Wash, Rinse, Repeat. Rough life.

Back when I was 15, a realtor in Chilliwack asked me if I could help him do some data mining on the MLS system. Back then, the MLS computer system could be dialed into via modem, so I wrote a little war-dialer for the MLS system that would essentially poll it looking for properties that were about to go on the market (using the taxation records). Given that most real-estate agencies were inefficient back then, he’d often get information using my program about a week before anyone else in town did. He’d then show up at the guys’ house asking if they needed a real-estate agent, which most of them did.

I imagine he made a truck load of money off of my idea, since last I talked to him he was trying to sell my software to other real-estate agents. He, of course, never paid me what he promised to, and as a kid I didn’t have the means to go after him. 16 years later I’m still battling real-estate agents, go figure.

But still, I imagine there are web 2.0 equivalents of the same technology I used back then. I’d probably have the most tech-saavy real-estate web site in the entire province, given all the web technologies I play with daily. There would be a big Flickr gallery, showing lots of my smiling, happy clients, along with some of the amazing beach front property I’d sold. Plus, there would be a pretty amazing photography gallery showcasing Vancouver, just in time for the 2010 Olympics. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t need a photographer to photograph any houses either.

In fact, if I was a real-estate agent in this city, I’d probably be looking to partner with someone like me before 2010. I’d put a pile of great Vancouver photos on your website for you. I’d integrate the MLS onto your website. I’d drive a pile of traffic to you and help you get a pile of sales. Sure, I’d want a warm, juicy piece of the pie, but it would be worth it.

But you know, I doubt that will happen. And maybe when I get bored of the tech sector, I’ll take a stab at selling million dollar properties to the rich and famous. Doesn’t sound like such a bad gig, honestly.